Canada authorizes first plant-based COVID-19 vaccine

Canada has become the first country to authorize use of a plant-based COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is made by Medicago of Quebec City and its partner GlaxoSmithKline.

Canadian regulators said Thursday the two-dose vaccine can be given to adults ages 18 to 64.

Medicago uses plants as living factories to grow virus-like particles that mimic the spike protein coating the coronavirus. The particles are removed and purified. GSK provides another ingredient, an immune-boosting chemical called an adjuvant.

While numerous COVID-19 vaccines have been rolled out around the world, global health authorities are looking to additional candidates in hopes of increasing the worldwide supply.